Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gleanings

When God established his law for the people of Israel, he included many concepts championed by our society. He had built-in to the system a provision for the needs of the poor and the foreign travelers. One great example of this is his command to leave the gleanings of the field available for anyone who needed them.

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.(Leviticus 19:9-10 ESV)
This allowed anyone who did not own land yet was willing to work to come and pick whatever they needed from the field. Even Jesus was known to be among those who gleaned from these fields.

I have been encouraged to find ways that I can provide gleanings to others. It is a command that every follower of Christ give to the poor and needy, and I find this to be just one way to fulfill that command.

For example, my school, like all schools, has a "Lost and Found" in the office. As part of our gleanings, we donate the items in "Lost and Found" to charity on a regular basis. Additionally, we have a paper recycling service (as many schools do) that goes to support a local ministry. I've seen the amount of paper we go through, and this is a great way to use our "leftovers" to meet the needs of others.

What gleanings do you have? I've started personally bringing in boxes junk mail from home to help this ministry. How can you use your "junk" to help others?

If you're looking for ideas, you may try starting here.

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